The City of Lompoc enacted a change that now allows the names of complainants to become public information for low-level code violations.
The violations can range from overgrown weeds and landscaping, to an accumulation of trash on property, all of which the city says present no serious or immediate threats to public health or safety.
Lompoc Mayor Jenelle Osborn said this is one way the city is trying to manage code compliance issues and decrease the amount of time staff currently spends on these types of problems.
"It'll be interesting to see if it curtails the complaints of some of the council members are concerned about," said Osborn. "I don't want to discourage anyone from filing a complaint if there is a concern."
Lompoc resident Nikolai Nikolenko fears this will only lead to more conflicts among residents.
"Releasing the names I feel like would only create animosity among neighbors because then a neighbor can go, 'hey, I need the name of who reported me' and city staff will have to give them that name," said Nikolento.
Mayor Osborne said the hope is the city will be able to address more serious offenses, such as building code violations and or potential fire threats. City leaders said residents will see the benefits.
"I would ask our public and our citizens to realize that this is not being done to create vendettas or retaliation. I really think our citizens are capable of moving above and beyond that," said Osborne.
The mayor also mentioned that if this does start to cause retaliation or vindictiveness within the community, the city will revisit the measure within a year.
The city also add that with a shortage of staff and lack of a code enforcement department, the city is asking residents to utilize the city website to submit complaints, making it easier for city staff to process, track and delegate complaints to the proper departments.